August 25, 2013

City considers running its own marina

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors agreed to look further into a plan that could lead to a lucrative waterfront project.

“This is a good chance for the city make a lot of money and keep a great piece of lakefront property,” John Ducatte told members of the council’s Infrastructure Committee on Thursday night.

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The city is exploring the idea of developing the waterfront property it owns at the end of Dock Street near Plattsburgh Boat Basin. There are docks in the water now that were installed to aid the several fishing tournaments that are held on Lake Champlain each year, but there is no management of them.

“People want to dock there — now they do it for free,” Ducatte said.


Earlier this year, the city entertained two proposals from private companies to manage the waterfront property. Plattsburgh Boat Basin and Navtours both offered to provide boat moorings, dock space, kayak and small-watercraft rentals, as well as food service and other recreational amenities.

The council voted in favor of negotiating with Navtours, a Canadian-based company, which has been in business on the lake for 15 years, but no deal has been struck.

Ducatte works for the city’s Public Works Department but has extensive marina experience, having worked at marinas around the world and spent time in the Coast Guard.

He submitted a plan that features a city-run marina that he says could generate as much as $3.2 million over a 10-year period.

The proposal calls for installing up to 80 moorings over time and renting out the dock space that exists. The moorings would be divided between the Dock Street site and Wilcox Dock to the north.

With rents starting at $50 per foot, and most boats being about 30 feet, Ducatte said, the city could see revenue of about $1,500 per season per boat to start with. Rental fees would increase gradually over a 10-year period according to his plan.

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